A number of U.S. lawmakers have approached the Biden administration, requesting an investigation into the alleged use of cryptocurrency by terrorist teams. This request got here within the type of a letter dated Nov. 15.
The letter refers to earlier experiences alleging that crypto wallets linked to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have obtained upwards of $41 million and $93 million, respectively. Nevertheless, it additionally acknowledges the existence of “conflicting experiences” from blockchain analytics corporations that problem these numbers.
The estimates originated on Oct. 10 in a Wall Road Journal article that cited statistics from two blockchain analytics corporations. One major supply, Elliptic, later said that the $93 million estimate truly utilized to a crypto alternate serving many purchasers quite than a single terrorist group. The $41 million quantity originated with a separate analytics agency known as BitOK; the corporate has seemingly not reassessed that estimate.
Now, of their present letter, lawmakers are asking the U.S. authorities to reveal the variety of digital wallets linked to Hamas and different terrorist organizations that it has recognized in addition to the cryptocurrency stability of these wallets. Moreover, the letter asks whether or not the U.S. authorities has blocked or seized any of these cryptocurrency belongings or any non-crypto belongings and asks for different associated particulars.
Moreover, the letter factors out that the U.S. authorities has seized substantial quantities of illicit funds, suggesting a necessity for transparency about these procedures. It asks when these funds may be forfeited, to whom they may be distributed, and whether or not any funds seized from terrorist organizations may very well be distributed to Israel with the intention to offset the price of different authorities spending packages.
Letter signed by over 50 lawmakers
The letter is signed by greater than 50 lawmakers. Signatures from Republican lawmakers embody these from Majority Whip Tom Emmer, Chairman of the Home Committee on Monetary Companies Patrick McHenry, and Congressman French Hill.
One Democratic lawmaker who has signed the letter is Congressman Ritchie Torres, well-known for his previous help for pro-cryptocurrency laws.
Notably, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who had beforehand led an effort to quote these contested statistics in an earlier letter, was absent from the listing of signatories. Her earlier letter requested the federal government to impose measures to forestall using crypto in terrorist funding.